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Pandemic's Effect On Child Development

 

Pandemic's  Effect  On Child  Development  

During this unprecedented period of Pandemic & series of Lockdowns

we are much stressed both inside  and outside of our family ;  While we

sometimes  have to go outside for bare necessities,  our  children remain

totally  confined  within the house, devoid of  any normal social contacts

for a long  time ;  How they are affected mentally & also physically ?  

Within  a few paragraphs we can try to highlight some points briefly as

under –

 

Physical & Mental  

The various means to mitigate  the  threat  of spread of the Covid-19 

pandemic such as social restrictions, shutdowns, school closure etc.

contribute to the  stress in parents & children and can become risk

factors which can adversely affect a child’s  physical & mental growth ;

As per  studies  conducted by the PubMed, WHO  Covid -19 &  SciELO,

epidemics can lead to high levels of  stress in parents & children,

which begin with  concerns about children becoming infected ;

These studies also describes several potential mental and emotional

consequences of pandemics like severe anxiety or depression among

parents and acute stress disorder,  post-traumatic stress,  anxiety

disorders  & depression among children ; These data can be related

to adverse childhood experiences & elevated risk of toxic stress

[Source : Jornal De Pediatria, March & April, 2020] ;

 

Social  Effect 

In a pandemic situation children do not get the cognitive and social

stimulation  that they  would  get normally outside their home ; By

being confined into home for most of the time  of the day and

maintaining   social  distancing outside they  are deprived of the social

grooming which is very much important in the early stage of a child’s

growth ;  Besides, delay in  development of speech and language and

also finding  trouble in sharing  & being in groups  are also commonly

found ;  Again,  among the lower middle &  working class people of our

country, by virtue of financial stress,  children face  higher rates of

housing & food insecurity ;   They also are subject to rising rates of

neglect  &  abuse ; All of these adversely  affect  a  child’s growth into

adulthood ;     

 

Towards  Some  Partial  Solutions 

In families with more favorable  socio-economic conditions,  children

& caregivers  need to adapt to a distance-learning  model ;  This can

generate  increased  demands for parents to provide guidance to their

children  about  the excessive use of electronic  devices ;  However,

where  the  socioeconomic conditions do not permit  sufficient use of

internet  to spread  school education,  other less costly social media

like  ‘What’s  App’  etc. are seen to be used ;  But above all,  to minimize

the adverse  effect of  total school  closure &  lack of outside games &

sports   it is the duty   of the care-givers to engage their children in  all

possible  types of indoor physical games &  other activities like  

plantation,  taking care of the old family members etc.  as much as

possible ;   All these are likely to reduce the stress in in  both the parents

and the  children ;

 

 

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